Teacher put on leave after student calls cops
A teacher at Selby Lane School in Atherton has been placed on paid administrative leave after a 13-year-old student in his class called Atherton police to report that the teacher was yelling and that she felt threatened, according to the Redwood City School District.
Police responded to the elementary school at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 1, after the girl called and made the allegations about her teacher, John Haynes.
In a prepared statement, the school district said that when the police arrived, they "found a calm classroom, with no students in danger."
Police Lt. Joe Wade said the student called the police from the campus restroom, saying that the teacher "was going crazy and throwing tables." She sounded genuinely scared, he said.
When officers arrived at the classroom, he said, they found class in session, everyone was calm, "and there wasn't anything strewn around."
After talking with the teacher and students, the officers determined that "there was no criminal activity," Lt. Wade said. The teacher had lifted a table up a couple of inches from the floor and let it drop to make a loud noise as a way to get the students' attention, and the table toppled over, he said.
No disciplinary action has been taken against the teacher, who was placed on leave so the district could investigate the student's allegations, the school district's statement said.
"Administrative leave is a procedure that is used to protect the rights of both teachers and students; it ensures that facts are determined before any conclusions are reached," the statement said. "(It) allows time for a full assessment of the situation; input is gathered from students, teachers and anyone involved in the situation.
"After the situation is investigated and the facts are determined, the district decides on an appropriate course of action and determines whether discipline of either teacher or student is warranted."
Superintendent Jan Christensen said the district hopes to conclude the investigation within a matter of days.